Transcript: Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on “Face the Nation,” June 16, 2024


The following is a transcript of an interview with Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat, on “Face the Nation” that aired on June 16, 2024.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And we turn now to the Democratic Governor of Maryland, Wes Moore. He joins us from Annapolis. Happy Father’s Day.

GOV. WES MOORE: Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Happy Father’s Day to everybody watching.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Governor, this past week, you reopened the Port of Baltimore, just three months after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. How long before full shipping traffic returns, and you see that benefit to your economy?

GOV. MOORE: Well, the benefit has already begun. And- and I’m so inspired by the work that this state have pulled off. I mean, we show that in Maryland, we do big things. Because that morning, I know people were saying this could take, you know, six- nine months, up to a year to clear the federal channel. And what many people said was going to take 11 months, we got done in 11 weeks. And it’s because we’ve worked together. And so the fact that the Port of Baltimore is reopened, the fact that the full federal channel, 700 feet by 50 foot depth, is now- has full access is an extraordinary accomplishment. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: And the federal government has provided some support here, too. I’ve read reports that the cost of rebuilding the bridge could be nearly $2 billion. Is that accurate?

GOV. MOORE: You know, I can tell you, the Biden administration have been phenomenal partners. So we know the estimated cost could be between $1.7 and $1.9 billion. And the reason that we are urging a- a federal cost share, and a 100% cost share is just simply because we have to move quickly. And I need to get this done on time and on budget. We know that in order to move fast, we’ve got to get that 100% cost share. So we are spending time working with- with members of both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans. But to know that if we can work together in this moment, we are going to get something really important for the American economy done.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, Congress would still need to sign off on that. And President Biden has pledged, as you just mentioned, to use federal dollars to rebuild but we are getting very close to an election. Do you believe that you will get that support and those funds appropriated before we see a possible change in administration? 

GOV. MOORE: I’ve been incredibly encouraged by the amount of support that we’ve received from both Democrats and Republicans. And I do feel confident we are going to get this done.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about another tragic death in your state. A Maryland mom named Rachel Morin was killed last August and yesterday a suspect in her killing was arrested out in Oklahoma. He’s a 23 year old from El Salvador and Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said he had ties to a criminal gang and he had murdered another woman in El Salvador. Take a listen.

(PLAY VIDEO)

SHERIFF JEFFREY GAHLER: To 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and to every member in both chambers of Congress. We are 1800 miles away here in Harford County. We are 1800 miles away from the southern border. And the American citizens are not safe because of failed immigration policies.

(END VIDEO)

MARGARET BRENNAN: I know that sheriff is a Republican, governor, but do you also hold the federal government partially responsible for the death of this Maryland resident?

GOV. MOORE: My- my heart is- is broken for the Morin family. As- as is our entire state. She should still be here. And- and the sheriff is absolutely right. I mean, we have an immigration policy that needed to have been dealt with and was not. And the consequences then fall on us as the chief executives of our state, the consequences fall on us as the leaders of our individualized jurisdictions. And- and we know that we have got to fix a broken immigration policy. And we know that we need Congress to act on this. And this is why this was so unbelievably frustrating that when you have a coalition that is a bipartisan coalition of both Democrats and Republicans, that get literally right up to the line to be able to get a deal done, that because you had a- you had President Trump who said this was not advantageous politically, that the deal was killed. There is an unbelievable frustration. And this is what people don’t like about politics. We’ve got to get this deal done, and we need Congress to act on it. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: The- the President did take executive action recently to try to shut down the border through cutting off asylum claims, in effect. I know the ACLU just filed a lawsuit to try to stop him. Do you agree with the President’s decision?

GOV. MOORE: I agree with the executive action, I also just know it’s not going to be enough. And this is not politics, politics should not get in the way of public safety. And I know for all of us who have to deal with the downstream impacts of broken policies, that we know we- and with that- we know that we need Congress to act on this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: On politics, I know you are a surrogate for President Biden and helping with his campaign, you were in Philly with him recently as part of a strategy to shore up Black voter support. According to our CBS polling nationwide, President Biden is effectively tied with Donald Trump, but among Black voters, Mr. Trump has 18% support. That’s twice the level he received in 2020. So why do you think that is ticking up?

GOV. MOORE: Well, I do think there’s a there’s a larger challenge that we’re seeing amongst African Americans, and particularly African American men. That’s a- that’s an American problem. And I think we have to understand the history of all this as well, that, you know, I’m the- I’m the governor of Maryland, in a state that we have an eight to one racial wealth gap in the state of Maryland. And we know that’s not because one group works eight times harder. I know that I’m the governor of a state where the- our largest city, Baltimore, is the home of redlining and historical redlining where- where home appraisals and the values and the ability to purchase a home was based on racial lines. And so these have been long standing challenges and long standing issues that, frankly, our country has not fully addressed. Now, it’s- now what I know that we’re seeing with President Biden is we’re actually having plans and not platitudes to be able to address these issues. So when you’re looking at the president focusing on things like homeownership, where we have one of the fastest growing rates of homeownership that we’ve seen, in the past 20 years, the fastest rate of Black -owned businesses, and particularly for Black men, that we’ve seen now in 30 years. Those are plans that are actually bearing fruit. And these are the type of things that we have to be able to acknowledge.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Governor, more to talk to you about but we have to leave it there. Thank you for your time today. FACE THE NATION will be back in one minute. Stay with us.



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